- Professor Bernhardi: Ein prophetisches Drama über Antisemitismus
- Bibliographie - Persée
Kanin, Fay and Michael. Based on The Affairs of Anatol. Stoppard, Tom. Undiscovered Country. London: Faber and Faber, Drama based on Das weite Land. His own familys ascent took place in the context of Viennas evolution into a modern metropolis with its unmistakable landmarks: the ostentatious Ringstrasse and the expansive projects of Otto Wagner which included the Stadtbahn; the Karlsplatz; the Secession building; and the progressive hospital developments in the outskirts of the metropolitan area, notably the psychiatric hospital Steinhof. Art Nouveau, epitomized by the paintings of Gustav Klimt a painter to whom Schnitzler was especially partial and the designs of the innovative group of painters, architects, and designers known as the Wiener Werksttte, whose goal it was to make even the functional buildings and interiors of the Habsburg capital aesthetic.
Then, during the First World War, Schnitzler witnessed the collapse of the society with which he had closely identified, as had the majority of middle-class Jews. The images of Schnitzler that emerge from the critical literature are multifaceted. There is the aspiring young author and bon vivant of Viennas golden fin-de-sicle, who creates and at the same time makes problematic the existence of playboys and flneurs. There is the physician and scientist of Jewish descent who became known for his experimentation with hypnosis, only to be later discredited.
There is the successful dramatist who already in mid-career was receiving awards such as the Grillparzer Prize for Comedy in , and the Vienna Volkstheater proclaimed the Schnitzler Year. Schnitzlers fiftieth birthday was celebrated by twenty-six performances of his plays on German-speaking stages. Finally, there is the ladies man who proudly flaunted his conquests and yet never achieved happiness in his personal life; the ill-fated admirer of a married woman; the deceived lover; the unhappily married man; and finally, the grief-stricken father. The older Schnitzler was plagued by depression and real and imagined ailments.
Schnitzler was born in Viennas Second District, then a fashionable part of the city, on May 15, , the son of the Jewish laryngologist Johann Schnitzler and his wife, Louise, ne Markbreiter. In his early childhood years the family moved to the Schottenbastei in the Inner City.
After graduating in from the renowned Vienna Akademiegymnasium, among whose students were also Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Richard Beer-Hoffmann, and Peter Altenberg, Schnitzler enrolled at the University of Vienna that same year as a student of medicine. From to he served as a volunteer at the military hospital in Vienna. In , at about the time he became acquainted with Sigmund Freud, he completed his doctorate in medicine. Schnitzlers numerous travels to the European cultural centers and resorts throughout his life were characteristic of a man of his class whose life alternated between times of leisure and luxury and his professional career.
Following a journey to Italy in he became an intern at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus in Vienna and, soon thereafter, at the Poliklinik. In that same year he started a correspondence with Theodor Herzl that lasted until Herzls death in In Schnitzler traveled to Meran for health reasons and met Olga Waissnix, the wife of a wealthy hotel owner, whom he courted in the following years. Until he worked at different Viennese hospitals, including the Poliklinik, and studied several medical specialties: dermatology, sexually transmitted diseases, and diseases of the larynx.
He also served as managing editor of the Internationale medizinische Rundschau, which his father had founded, and was active writing poems, short stories, and dramatic works that appeared in local papers and journals. Schnitzler enjoyed the bohemian lifestyle cultivated by the aspiring authors and journalists of the Jung Wien circle, and he had several affairs. His relationship with Marie Mizi Glmer, the prototype of the se Mdel characters in many of his works, was 1 particularly important for his development as a writer. In , Schnitzler, following the same double standard as his male characters, ended his three-year liaison with Glmer because of her admitted infidelity, and he began a turbulent affair with the actress Adele Sandrock.
When in his father died, Schnitzler resigned his position at the Poliklinik and went into private practice. But his literary career was his primary interest all along, as is evident from his remarkable productivity. In the late s Schnitzler published several short stories in the Viennese journal An der schnen blauen Donau, and the first segments of the Anatol cycle, a loosely structured series of one-act plays, began to appear in in different literary venues.
In the book version of the entire cycle was published in Berlin Anatol: Mit einer Einleitung von. Loris; Anatol, and established Schnitzler as a major dramatist. The Anatol cycle is a document of the directionless and dissolute lifestyle of young leisure-class men in the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Even in this early work, however, Schnitzler does not merely paint a complacent or idealized portrait of his peer group but reveals also the unspoken despair underlying the luxurious boredom of his privileged protagonists.
Sensitive to the issues of his era psychology, the burden of convention, class conflicts, morality, and the challenge of individualism Schnitzler was one of the most performed dramatists of the early twentieth century. Like Anatol, Liebelei ; Light-o-love, , a drama about class and gender-role expectations, infatuation, attachment, and betrayal, was an instant success.
In this work Schnitzler takes issue with the prevailing code of honor and the resultant tragedies: men being called upon to kill or be killed in a duel to safeguard their so-called honor, and young women being encouraged to take their own lives or abort their unborn children to safeguard theirs. Subsequent shorter works include the oneact play Der grne Kakadu ; The Green Cockatoo, , which is set at the eve of the French Revolution and combines the theme of love and jealousy with political intrigues and social conflicts.
Der grne Kakadu examines the implications of revolutionary change and upheaval for the individual, a theme to which Schnitzler returned throughout his career, for example in Der junge Medardus ; Young Medardus. Appearance, play-acting, and life collide in his early experimental drama, which blends class conflict and romantic intrigue. While in Liebelei the female protagonists lower-middle-class circles are an important aspect of the drama, in Freiwild ; Free Game, one of the major characters, Karinski, is modeled after Schnitzlers friend, the bon vivant Richard Tausenau, and the play scrutinizes the male environment of officers and gentlemen.
Schnitzler presents a stark portrait of the corruption in the imperial military. He exposes problems associated with the traditional homosocial bonding fostered in all-male institutions, showing that it leads to alienation from civilian life and promotes a predatory attitude toward women. The elitist single lifestyle imposed upon the members of the officer corps is shown to be the breeding ground for addictive behavior, a ruthless kind of competitiveness, alcoholism, and compulsive gambling. Schnitzler also reveals the difficulties women have in a male-dominated society as they try to emancipate themselves, because they are assigned a status of dependency.
In the later part of the twentieth century these and Schnitzlers later controversial dramas such as Reigen ; Hands Around, and. Professor Bernhardi are part of the regular fare at German-speaking and international stages. At a time of extraordinary productivity in Schnitzler met the voice teacher Marie Reinhard and fell immediately in love with her. The result of their liaison was a stillborn child in In this work the relationship between the protagonist, Georg Wergenthin, and his Gentile 2 lover, Anna Rosner, comes to an end after she has a miscarriage, an event that leads to reflection and reorientation on Wergenthins part.
Schnitzler often allowed his own experiences and those of his friends to inform his writing as far as plots and characters were concerned. Schnitzler found himself at the center of Central European artistic and intellectual life. At the height of his career, in , he married the actress Olga Gussmann , although he continued his affairs and encounters with other women. He had known Gussmann since and had a son with her, Heinrich, who was born in Lili, their daughter, with whom Schnitzler had a particularly close relationship, was born in The controversies involving some of Schnitzlers works did not have an adverse effect on his phenomenal success.
In , for example, the then-witty periodical Simplicissimus featured the one-act play Die berspannte Person ; The High Strung Woman, , inspired by Schnitzlers affair with Sandrock; the issue was confiscated because of moral considerations.
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A much more serious setback involved the dramatic cycle Reigen, which portrayed sexual relations between members of all classes and which therefore was condemned by some as pornographic and immoral. In its ten dramatic scenes, each of which ends in the sexual union of the respective couple, Reigen exposes the reality beneath the Victorian faade of propriety and decency.
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In few other works of the time are the links between wealth, social standing, and the luxury of bourgeois morality exposed more succinctly. Reigen makes evident that the morality of the upper classes depends on the immorality and corruption of the underprivileged. The play attracted international attention because of its supposedly offensive content and was censored in most European countries.
In a planned performance in Budapest was forbidden. The first production of the entire work took place in in Berlin, where it immediately became the object of protracted public controversies and legal battles. Schnitzlers reputation as a prose writer is based on his narrative innovations as well as the boldness of his topics. The novella Leutnant Gustl ; None but the Brave, is rightfully known as an avantgarde work because of its innovative use of interior monologue as a means of revealing the protagonists deepest thoughts and feelings. This work also contributed to the authors notoriety because of its allegedly disrespectful and slanderous attitude toward the Austrian military.
The scandal cost Schnitzler his rank as an officer of the Austrian imperial military reserves.
Professor Bernhardi: Ein prophetisches Drama über Antisemitismus
By making the link between poverty and immoral if not criminal behavior transparent, Schnitzler breaks a taboo carefully upheld by the more sentimentally inclined authors of his era such as Rainer Maria Rilke or Hofmannsthal. Rather than positioning himself at the center of the class whose privileges he enjoys, Schnitzler designs a de-centered narrative point of view and dramatic characters apt to explore the world of the bourgeoisie from the margins.
The protagonist of Leutnant Gustl, for example, aspires to an upper-middle-class status, but constant worries reveal how far removed he is from actually achieving his ideal. In Frulein Else the narrative point of view is that of a young woman whose privileged status is jeopardized by her fathers financial troubles.
Thoroughly familiar with the bourgeois code and at the same time standing apart from it, Schnitzler was both chronicler and critic of his class, one whose illusions, neuroses, and transgressions he reveals masterfully and clinically. Similar to other writers and intellectuals in fin-de-sicle Vienna, which had been governed by a notoriously anti-Semitic mayor, Karl Lueger, since , Schnitzler became increasingly interested in Jewish concerns.
In his novel Der Weg ins Freie he reviewed the background and aspirations of Viennese Jews at the verge of assimilation and examined the political and existential choices some young Jews make in their search to achieve integration while others try to preserve their distinct identity. Motivated by hostilities and legal problems his father had encountered as a physician and head of the Poliklinik, Schnitzler featured in Professor Bernhardi a Jewish doctor who comes into tragic conflict with his antiSemitic environment as a result of his impeccable professional ethics.
Schnitzlers drama, which shows the problems of bigotry and scapegoating in the context of the medical profession, must be considered the precursor of not only Friedrich Wolfs drama Professor Mamlock ,. In these works the protagonist is an assimilated Jewish physician, a man committed to his profession and convinced of the benefits of scientific progress. Like Schnitzlers Bernhardi, Mamlock and Gustav Oppenheim are products of the privileged humanistic educational system, Gymnasium and university, and consider themselves first and foremost Germans.
Schnitzlers own less than optimistic attitude differed markedly from that of his fathers generation.
Having experienced the rise of anti-Semitism in Central Europe in the s and s beginning with the founding of the Anti-Semitic League by Wilhelm Marr in , the mass exodus of Russian Jews to the West after the assassination of Czar Alexander II, the ritual-slaughter trial of Tisza Eszlar in Hungary, the Dreyfus affair that began in in France, and the manifesto of the anti-Semitic ChristianSocial Association against the freedom of Jews and in favor of restricting immigration. Schnitzler was aware of the seriousness of the problem. Schnitzlers distrust of the social establishment and his skepticism toward heroic causes, patriotism, and military virtues were already apparent in Der junge Medardus, a drama set in the Napoleonic era, which reveals how enmeshed personal desire, ideology, ambition, and patriotism can become.
The pervasive skepticism in this play expresses Schnitzlers own position at the beginning of the First World War. Partly because of his lack of martial fervor together with Kraus he was one of the few intellectuals not in support of the war and partly because his works were not relevant at a time of national mobilization, his popularity suffered considerably.
Schnitzlers interest in movies began to bear fruit during the war years when he became the target of calumnies, and Der junge Medardus was taken off the theater program in Berlin. He provided the scripts for several movie versions of individual works. Schnitzlers public discussion with Stefan Zweig about JewishAustrian literature in and his preoccupation with his autobiography in the following year reveal the need on the authors part to review his life and revise earlier-held positions.
In Schnitzler voted for the Social-Democratic Party in an attempt to distance himself as far as possi4 ble from the extreme right. In he cast his vote for the Jewish 5 National Party. The rise of extreme nationalism and anti-Semitism in the aftermath of the lost war had made the prominent Schnitzler more vul-. The production of Reigen in Berlin in December was followed by a public outrage. Anti-Semitism clearly played a role in the charges that by having a play with explicit sexual content produced Schnitzler had caused a public disturbance In , when the Reigen scandal took up almost all of Schnitzlers energies, his wife divorced him.
In the silent movie The Affairs of Anatol was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and in Austrias leading motion-picture company, Sascha Film, produced a silent movie based on Der junge Medardus. In the silent movie Liebelei, on which Schnitzler had collaborated, opened in Berlin, followed in by the silent Frulein Else, starring Elisabeth Bergner.
The same year Schnitzler became president of the Austrian PEN Club, and in he was honored with the distinguished Burgtheaterring, an award for playwrights. Despite these and many other public recognitions he received in the final decade of his life, Schnitzler became increasingly isolated, partly because of physical and psychological ailments, partly because of the increasingly radical political atmosphere in Germany and Austria. This isolation notwithstanding, he created some of his most profound and complex works in the last ten years of his life, including the novels Therese: Chronik eines Frauenlebens , Therese: The Chronicle of a Womans Life, and Flucht in die Finsternis ; Flight into Darkness, The perceptions and experiences of women and emotionally fragile men are explored with great insight and sensitivity in these later works.
In Therese, for example, Schnitzler examines the predicament of a woman struggling to make ends meet. Therese makes a living as a private tutor. Being constantly on call and under the supervision of her employers she has to forego the luxury of a private life. The novel reveals the economic and emotional difficulties Therese faces in a society with only limited career options for women. In Flucht in die Finsternis Schnitzler traces the mental illness of a man who gradually loses touch with reality and ends up murdering his brother and killing himself. Schnitzler masterfully describes the murderers paranoid perceptions and subtly reveals the victims complicity, which consists of refusal to face up to his brothers actual condition.
Three years before his death, in , Schnitzler was dealt a severe blow by the suicide of his daughter, Lili, who had married the Italian Fascist Arnoldo Cappellini, an officer in Mussolinis army, in June of Even as a girl, Lili Schnitzler had shown signs of emotional instability, which was exacerbated after her marriage. Following a Mediterranean cruise with her husband and her father in April and May, she committed suicide in Venice in July On October 21, Arthur Schnitzler died in Vienna as the result of a brain hemorrhage.
He was buried at the Vienna Zentralfriedhof. A few days earlier Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had released the motion picture Daybreak, based on Spiel im Morgengrauen ; Daybreak, , for which Schnitzler had written the script. Schnitzler was survived by his son, Heinrich, who took refuge in the United States during the Nazi years and played a key role in bringing his fathers works back to Austrian stages in the postwar era. Schnitzler was born fourteen years after the restrictions on Jewish residence in Vienna had been lifted, the son of a Jewish family that had struggled to become fully integrated into Viennese society.
In his study, Schnitzlers Century, Peter Gay chose Schnitzler as a witness and represen6 tative of European middle-class culture. Gays choice is as remarkable as it is problematic. In her analysis of late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Jewish society, Hannah Arendt would have classified Schnitzlers forebears the banker Baron Friedrich Schey von Koromla, who left his native Hungary to settle in Vienna; the physician and scholar Philipp Markbreiter, Schnitzlers grandfather; and his father, the Hungarian-born physician Johann Schnitzler as erstwhile Jewish pariahs who had ad7 vanced to the status of parvenus, despite the fact that the values and ambitions of the Schnitzler family were those of the German-speaking Central European elite.
Jews realized their aspirations only in terms of economic progress, education, and lifestyle. Otherwise, they remained distinct: The Jews of Vienna practiced similar professions, lived in the same neighborhoods, attended school together, and married each other, 8 Marsha Rozenblit writes. As a scientist and physician, Johann Schnitzler was excluded from the professional opportunities open to his Gentile colleagues at the university and in the government. As a response to the dilemma he established the Vienna Poliklinik, over which he presided until his death, as an alternative for Jewish doctors.
Despite its remarkable successes the clinic was viewed by the anti-Semitic public with suspicion. Even though Schnitzlers family enjoyed a privileged standard of living, their sons social contacts were mostly confined to his own class, that of the good Jewish middle-class circles, and did not extend into.
Schnitzler attended schools where the majority of students were Jewish or of Jewish descent. Rozenblit explains that studying at a college preparatory school such as the Akademiegymnasium from which Schnitzler had graduated provided Jews with access to prestigious careers and served as a great force for their acculturation and assimilation into the world of European Kultur and Bildung. Furthermore, Rozenbilt asserts, the Viennese Jewish penchant for elite education was part of an empire-wide pattern, and acquiring secular knowledge was a Jewish group activity, and the group nature of this 10 experience modified and attenuated assimilation.
Austrian middle-class Jews stood apart not only in their educational and career preferences but also in the military, where Schnitzler served as a volunteer. The so-called Mosesdragoner, the Jewish officers, were a group by themselves. At the same time, Schnitzler was fortunate because Jewish intellectual life flourished in Vienna more so than elsewhere.
The vibrant culture with so many nationally and internationally admired Jewish participants in its forefront is evidence of the apparent success of the project of Jewish emancipation and assimilation. At the same time, the pressure exerted upon Jewish individuals by this culture to conform to the Christian mainstream is apparent as well. The virulent self-hatred in Otto Weiningers Geschlecht und Charakter ; Sex and Character, a treatise based on the authors dissertation at the University of Vienna, which sets out to prove the constitutional inferiority of women and Jews the apostasy of Jewish artists and intellectuals such as Mahler and Kraus, and the internalization of values of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy by Zweig and Roth all illustrate the pervasive desire for selftransformation for the sake of equal rights and opportunities.
Many established families felt in the s that the unassimilated newcomers were turning their formerly genteel and respectable neighborhood into 11 a Jewish and immigrants quarter. Young men of Arthur Schnitzlers generation, the descendants of banker and merchant families, chose the arts and liberal professions to avoid the odium of the traditional Jewish trades. Egon Schwarz maintains that precisely because Jews were limited by the larger society to certain trades and commercial occupations they.
However, the traditional Jewish middle-class status had been associated with the money trade. The aspiring young men and women of the fin-de-sicle compensated for the perceived lack of status by taking up aesthetic and cultural pursuits. Schnitzler, with his love of the arts and literature and his predilection for the finer things in life, including his association with women of the world such as the beautiful Olga Waissnix, wife of the owner of a resort hotel, and the actress Adele Sandrock, fits the Jewish escape pattern into a half-bohemian, half aristocratic lifestyle.
In his cultural-historical study Gay examines the formation of middle-class culture in the Victorian era, which coincides roughly with Josephinian Austria and Wilhelminian Germany. Gays title suggests that Schnitzler is a representative, even a paradigm, of the modern bourgeois culture taking shape in the wake of the failed revolution of I have used as my guide Arthur Schnitzler, the most interesting Austrian playwright, novelist, and short story writer of this time, Gay writes.
Yet, he does not consider Schnitzler, a man of the nineteenth century, an average or mediocre man by any means, but a credible and resourceful 13 witness to the middle-class world. Alongside his protagonists extraordinary traits, including his creativity and his charisma, Gay identifies several other qualities and attitudes that Schnitzler, the famous author and man of the world, shares with the majority of his bourgeois contemporaries. Schnitzlers relative affluence afforded him the lifestyle typical of men of his class.
Regular visits to coffee-houses, theaters, and dancehalls, encounters with women of the demimonde, appearances at parties and social functions, gambling, dinners at hotels and restaurants, trips to the nearby mountain resorts and across Europe were all integral parts of a privileged young mans experience, combined, in Schnitzlers case, with 14 social and literary ambition and extraordinary success. Schnitzlers acceptance of the sexual and social double standard and his licentiousness, together with the yearning to conquer a pure woman who would be completely dedicated to him, were part and parcel of the patriarchal ideology of the late nineteenth century.
Gays study does not account for the years after the collapse of the Danube monarchy during the First World War, notwithstanding the fact that Schnitzlers fame as an author and his literary vision continued to expand in the years of the First Austrian republic. Even though his later works, such as the play Im Spiel der Sommerlfte, are set in the prewar era or, as Die Schwestern oder Casanova in Spa ; The Sisters or Casanova in Spa, and Der Gang zum Weiher, in an even earlier period their atmosphere and tone suggest the traumatic transition.
The awareness of the new social realities and the loss of emotional certainty brought about by the collapse of the familiar value system and fast-changing political and social structures also informs the stark episodes in his later prose works, Traumnovelle, and the novels Therese and Flucht in die Finsternis. In these texts the traditional class and gender codes have lost their validity entirely. The perceptions of the male protagonists in particular are shown to be so unreliable that, as is the case in Flucht in die Finsternis, it becomes impossible to tell friend from foe.
Overall, the work seems an especially appropriate contribution to the larger political and social issues of the s, which revolved around loss of direction and uncontrollable fear of political extremism. While other writers such as Feuchtwanger and Alfred Dblin examined these forces in social and political terms, Schnitzler studied the anxieties and fears that drive an individual to extreme actions. The combination of the murder-suicide of two brothers with the theme of paranoia leading to complete insanity can be read in the context of other works of the time as a commentary on the 15 imminent destruction of what was called German-Jewish symbiosis.
For Jewish intellectuals the demise of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy involved a paradigm shift that affected them directly and ultimately with tragic consequences. In the multination state, Jews had figured among the empires many nationalities Bohemians, Hungarians, Romanians, Slovenians, and Germans. In the postwar republic, which many considered a truncated remnant-state without a future, Austrian Jews were relegated to the position of a minority whose status was jeopardized by the everincreasing arrival of Eastern European immigrants, some of whom considered Vienna a station on their way to Paris or New York, others as their final destination.
Schnitzler stayed in Vienna during the s, the sober years when under its Social Democratic leadership the city became a model for social progress despite the postwar economic crisis. Notwithstanding the depression, public housing projects were undertaken, with the KarlMarx-Hof and the Reumann-Hof as prime examples, and the city sponsored mass education, for example the programs at the Urania in which Hermann Broch and Elias Canetti took part. Schnitzler, who depicted the pitfalls of the bourgeois dream for men of his background in the Danube monarchy as few other writers had, never felt quite at home in the First Republic, much as he had criticized the culture of the Empire.
As time went on, he became increasingly aware of how limited the life choices for Jewish Austrians actually were. They included assimilation, Socialism, and Zionism or Jewish nationalism. Contrary to others who, like Mahler and Kraus, sought a reprieve. Similar to Freud, he rejected apostasy, but he did not feel drawn to his traditional roots either, as did Martin Buber and Arnold Zweig, inspired in part by the encounters with East European Jewry during the war years.
Schnitzler was skeptical of collective solutions to a problem that he, as his protagonists in Der Weg ins Freie and Professor Bernhardi, experienced as not only social but also psychological. Schnitzlers writings rarely feature the new men and women of the postwar era, proletarians, recent immigrants, and political activists, Socialists, Communists, and Fascists, who feature in the works of dn von Horvth and Elias and Veza Canetti.
His works continue to examine personal relationships in prewar and even earlier historical settings. The First Republics housing developments or the working-class neighborhoods of the Leopoldstadt and Floridsdorf are inconceivable as the framework for Schnitzlers writing. Yet, the articles in the volume at hand reveal that Schnitzler was far from closing his eyes to the world around him, even though he writes about the experience of his own class. His point of view is obviously not that of a revolutionary, but rather he calls into question ideologies and doctrines, be they political, philosophical, or scientific.
Early in the First Republic, which ended with the Nazi takeover of Austria in , Jewish integration seemed a fait accompli, at least for the bourgeoisie. All professional and legal barriers that had stood in the way of equal access, for military and state offices as well, were removed, preparing the road to complete assimilation.
Yet, precisely at that time an unprecedented right-wing radicalism, Austro-Fascism and National Socialism, took shape and became increasingly threatening in the mids. With its victory the egalitarian social and political programs that had shaped Social Democracy in Vienna came undone. The optimism and liberalism with which the republican era had begun was giving way to a repressive climate, initiated by the burning of the Palace of Justice in In , the year of Schnitzlers death, the German National Socialists had already celebrated major victories, and the collapse of the stock market led to anti-Semitic violence in major cities.
It has been more than seventy years since Schnitzlers death, time enough to resolve the basic controversies involving the authors rank, the quality of his writing, and his considerable contributions to modern literature and thought. Once a controversial author, praised by some as an innovative prose writer and dramatist and condemned by others as a frivolous sentimentalist with a predilection for pornography, Schnitzler.
Schnitzler is recognized as a key figure of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Central European culture and as someone influential within the wider spectrum of Western literature. The majority of his works was translated into English, French, and other languages during Schnitzlers lifetime.
Multiple English translations exist of his most famous works, notably Reigen, and reprints and new editions appear regularly. The extensive critical edition of his diaries undertaken by Werner Welzig in the late s inspired renewed interest in Schnitzler, the man and his writings, on the part of scholars and the 17 general public at the turn of the millennium.
Bibliographie - Persée
The essays in this volume provide fresh insights into the more complex Schnitzler, who was neither a bourgeois nor a rebel, but an intellectual who recorded the upheavals of his times because he was deeply affected by them. Gerd Schneider, one of the foremost Schnitzler scholars, chronicles in his essay The Social and Political Context of Arthur Schnitzlers Reigen in Berlin and Vienna: the many Reigen scandals, the surrounding circumstances and the intellectual climate.
His study reveals how a literary work can develop a momentum all its own, and finally, with changing times, assume the place in history that it deserves. Schneider traces the fate of this significant work and provides, in his own words, a window for a better understanding into the time in which Schnitzler lived and wrote, so that one is justified to rewrite the introductory sentences as: Sua fata libelli habent. Evelyn Deutsch-Schreiner, an expert in Austrian fin-de-sicle drama history and dramaturgy, examines how different staging techniques and the casting of characters continue to have a profound impact on the reception of Schnitzler.
She shows how Schnitzlers work suffered from the desire to dehistoricize it and from being put to use in an attempt to produce politically correct plays. Deutsch-Schreiner credits Schnitzlers son, Heinrich, with the accomplishment of having saved his fathers legacy without at the same time being able to prevent him from becoming a cultural icon, a canonical figure, yet possibly preventing him from having the provocative effect he might have had on audiences worldwide. Clearly, the efforts to denigrate Schnitzler in his own lifetime and during the Nazi era, when his works were forbidden, ultimately came to naught.
However, to fully rehabilitate an author whom radicals wanted to eliminate from literary and theater history was not an easy task. Postwar scholars of German literature had lingering uncertainties about Schnitzler, in part because of the legacy of anti-Semitism within the academic establishment, and in part because of the changed circumstances.
Schnitzlers career had unfolded during an era that seemed irretrievably past. His works thus seemed incongruous with the concerns of the general public to rebuild society and of the intellectuals who endorsed the literary programs of the immediate postwar era of Kahlschlag tabula rasa and Nullpunkt Point Zero , which proposed that the linguistic and cultural dilemma after the Nazi era required a rejection of tradition and a brand-new start.
Even though performing Schnitzlers plays after would have fit the purpose of deNazification, a public eager to put the Nazi past behind it dismissed him as outdated, Deutsch-Schreiner maintains in her article. After the Shoah, being Jewish took on a new meaning in the public discourse of German-speaking countries. Even in Austria, where no soulsearching comparable to that in the West German Point-Zero discourse had taken place, there was a widespread awareness that the suffering and the persecution of Jews precluded open anti-Semitism.
During the Waldheim affair of the mid s, it even appeared that being Jewish had certain advantages in terms of not being implicated in the Holocaust. Many publications about Jews in Austria, the exile experience, and the Shoah appeared, creating a somewhat mythical image of Jewishness in a country virtually without a Jewish community. She provides a detailed account about the larger milieu of Schnitzlers career and uses the renowned social activist and Jewish feminist Bertha Pappenheim as an example of the range of Jewish activities.
By comparing Schnitzlers ideas and views on gender roles with those of a prominent woman writer and diarist, Loentz presents a challenging portrait of gendered views in Jewish society and of the rich diversity of Jewish life in Schnitzlers era. Despite the readily apparent differences, she observes. Bruce concludes that neither Schnitzler, the enlightened individualist and author of philosophical-political literature, nor Salten, a Zionist and writer of allegorical didactic childrens literature, had the vision that might lead out of the woods.
Both of them, products of the Jewish experience of emancipation, assimilation, and antiSemitism, failed to realize that reason would not provide an antidote to National Socialism. Lorenz, who focuses her research in German and Austrian Jewish topics, examines the sense of self and identity construction in 18 different works by Schnitzler representative of different periods. The dilemma the literary characters as well as their creator face calls to mind the problem laid out in Freuds Das Unbehagen in der Kultur , Civilization and Its Discontents, Not a disciple of Freud, Schnitzler does not endorse the notion of dark insurmountable urges such as the Death Drive.
Even though he writes about obstacles frustrating the pursuit and achievement of happiness and even suggests that suffering is predicated by the human condition, aggravated by social institutions, Schnitzlers more successful characters suggest that the continued effort to alleviate suffering and to increase pleasure is the only worthwhile, if not noble, project in the face of certain defeat. Maintaining that the Mittelbewusstsein mid-level of consciousness was a crucial concept in Schnitzlers prose characterizations, Tweraser examines this term to show Schnitzlers responses to Freudian psychoanalysis.
Tweraser writes: While not denying the existence of the unconscious, Schnitzler stresses the importance of the Mittelbewusstsein as an area of consciousness where the individual stores the institutional mechanisms that dictate behavior, but which also contains 19 repressed memories. Tweraser takes Schnitzlers battle against the military code as a case in point that the author considered a successful integration into an acquisitive, capitalist, modern society the path to overcoming many of the social and political ills of his time.
Elizabeth Ametsbichler in her comprehensive essay A Century of Intrigue: The Dramatic Works of Arthur Schnitzler explores reasons for Schnitzlers enduring popularity on stage and on the screen. In her analysis of the language and plots of his major plays, including Liebelei, Reigen, and Der grne Kakadu, as well as works not published during the authors lifetime, such as Das Wort ; The Word, , Ametsbichler concludes that even though Schnitzlers plays are set at the turn of the century, they succeed in shedding light on societal values and perceptions of both the past and present. Ametsbichler asks: Could Schnitzler hold our imagination still today if he had not somehow established a connection between this and the last fin-de-sicle?
She finds that there is more commonality between nineteenth- and early-twentyfirst-century concerns than immediately meets the eye. The translations of Schnitzlers plays by G. Weinberger, a scholar of Elizabethan literature and fin-de-sicle Vienna, have played an important role in making the Austrian author accessible to the Englishspeaking public. This is particularly true for Weinbergers translations and his analyses of Schnitzlers posthumous and lesser known dramas. Weinberger succeeds in revealing the universal message in Schnitzler without compromising cultural and historical specificity.
Weinberger reveals that Schnitzler uses his marionette characters to address transcendental issues in a modern way free of scripture-based morality and traditional religious messages. Schnitzlers agnosticism is obvious in his other works, however, the relationship between the marionettes and the puppeteer allows him to introduce an air of uncertainty that lends these works a particular poignancy.
They literally play out the dilemma arising from the question about a possible puppet master who is invisible and unknowable. Unlike the marionettes in Kleists famous essay, Schnitzlers marionettes do labor under the burden of a modern consciousness.
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Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Hinzu kommt aus dieser Zeit der Konflikt zwischen Kirche und Staat. Der Arzt verweigert, weil die Patientin noch Hoffnungen hat. Weil Bernhardi dem Priester den Zugang zur sterbenden Patientin nicht erlaubt, wird er in einem Gerichtsverfahren verurteilt und zwei Wochen eingesperrt.
Toneelstuk van Schitzler, waarin het antisemitisme en populisme in de Oostenrijkse samenleving van begin 20e eeuw bekritiseerd wordt. De Joodse arts Bernhardi wordt slachtoffer van een antisemitische hetze en politiek opportunisme. Het toneelstuk toont het functioneren van populisme en xenofobische hetzes erg goed. Juist wanneer de realiteit ondergeschikt raakt aan de wereld van uiterlijkheden en schijn, kan het opportunissme en populisme zich vrij ontwikkelen.
In dat opzicht is het toneelstuk o Toneelstuk van Schitzler, waarin het antisemitisme en populisme in de Oostenrijkse samenleving van begin 20e eeuw bekritiseerd wordt. In dat opzicht is het toneelstuk ook nog erg boeiend voor hedendaagse lezers. Professor Bernhardi is a maverick figure taken to court for preventing a priest from giving a dying girl her last rites.
Eventually Bernhardi is cleared, but his colleague Ebenwald doubts whether it has been worth all the effort. In the tight self-enclosed world of early twentieth century Vienna, the Jew is perpetually regarded with suspicion: whatever they do can be misinterpreted as a challenge to the prevailing Catholic orthodoxy. Renate rated it it was amazing Apr 12, L3winng rated it really liked it Jun 25,